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Doctor held on sex, drug misuse charges

By IRWIN M. GOLDBERG
Dispatch Staff Writer

BARSTOW – Police arrested a Barstow psychiatrist Wednesday on suspicion of drugging a patient and sexually exploiting her.

Dennis Robert L’Ardent, 47, was arrested at his motel room at the Good Nite Inn, 2551 Commerce Parkway, at about 5:15 a.m. after family members of the victim called police, said Officer Mark Franey of the Barstow Police Department.

The acts allegedly took placed in L’Ardent’s office at 900 E. Main St. and in room 237 of the motel, Franey said.

The victim told police she had been seeking psychiatric help from L’Ardent for about 1½ weeks. She alleged that during a visit Monday, L’Ardent gave her medication and told her he would set her up in a safe house facility because of domestic violence problems she was having, Franey said.

“He lured her to the motel room under the auspices of trying to help her and furnish her with a safe haven. During that time he sexually assaulted her,” Franey alleged.

L’Ardent allegedly gave her additional medication at the motel room and committed sexual battery on her from Monday through Tuesday when she escaped and returned to her family, Franey said.

After arresting L’Ardent officers obtained search warrants for his room and vehicle.

“We obtained evidence to corroborate our victim’s statements,” Franey said.

L’Ardent, whose home address is in Las Vegas, was first licensed in California in 1976. His current license expires in August, a spokesperson for the Medical Board of California said.

He has no disciplinary actions against his license at this time. Franey said he notified the medical board of L’Ardent’s arrest and the charges.

The board’s only record of L’Ardent is a post office box in Berkeley. However, Franey said he believes L’Ardent has offices in Apple Valley and Las Vegas.

L’Ardent was booked at the Barstow Sheriff’s Station Jail on suspicion of sexual battery while a person is medically incapacitated, administering stupefying drugs to assist in the commission of a felony and psychotherapist sexual exploitation.

He is now out of jail on $10,000 bail.